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L'Austral Cruise Photos

From: L'Austral cruise review

Day 1: Venice Departure

No. 2 vaporetto in Venice

Our embarkation process began with a trip on Venice's No. 2 vaporetto to the San Basilio cruise terminal, where L'Austral was moored.

Compagnie du Ponant doesn't allow boarding until late afternoon, but our official 5:30 p.m. boarding time turned out to be conservative: Earlier in the week, a security officer at the pier told us that we could expect boarding to begin around 3:30 or 4 p.m.

(Tip: The San Basilio terminal has baggage-storage lockers at a price of 4 euros per day, so you should be able to leave suitcases of normal size if you arrive in Venice early in the day and want to go sightseeing until boarding time.)


Dog on Venice vaporetto

On the water bus, Cheryl had a chance to take her last Venice dog photo before our departure. The puppy in the picture was about four months old.

Maggie in Venice(If we seem obsessed with the canine side of Venetian life, there's a reason: We've spent several winters in Venice with our own dog Maggie, who's the protagonist of a "Maggie in Venice" dog blog at maggieinvenice.com.)


San Basilio pier in Venice

L'Austral at San Basilio Cruise Terminal, Venice

From the San Basilio vaporetto station (the yellow-and-white floating platform at right), it was a short walk across a low footbridge to the San Basilio cruise terminal, where L'Austral was waiting for us.


San Basilio Cruise Terminal entrance

San Basilio Cruise Terminal sign

The entrances to the terminal were clearly marked. (The San Basilio terminal has two entrances: one for passengers arriving on foot or by boat, and another next to a road used by land taxis.)


San Basilio Cruise Terminal baggage handlers

One thing that surprised us about L'Austral's embarkation procedures was how baggage was handled. We didn't have baggage tags (we'd received our cruise documents by e-mail), but the dock workers told us they weren't needed: L'Austral is such a small ship that the crew just checks names on incoming bags against a passenger list when sending luggage to cabins.


Check-in at San Basilio Cruise Terminal

Embarkation began around 4 p.m. and took only a few minutes. (We were checked in by a dancer from the ship's entertainment company.)


L'Austral in Venice, Italy

After showing our passports and cruise documents, we were given our key cards. We quickly went through security and walked along the pier to L'Austral.


Gangway at San Basilio pier

Cheryl took this photo from the top of the gangway as we boarded L'Austral.


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Venice for Cruisers
Getting to or from your ship, Venice hotels for cruisers, the Marittima and San Basilio piers, and more. From Venice for Visitors.

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Rome for Cruisers
Trains to and from the port, plus a 35-page Civitavecchia city and port guide. From Rome for Visitors.